Final call for volunteers for study into breakfast’s impact on our health

Researchers at the University of Bath are making a final call for volunteers to take part in a study to find out how important breakfast is to our health.

The researchers from the University's Human Physiology Research Group in the Department for Health are concluding a three-year investigation into the role of breakfast consumption in weight change and associated health consequences.

They are looking for around 20 more overweight volunteers between the ages of 21 and 60 to participate in this phase of the study, which began in 2010.

So far the team has recruited over 70 volunteers and need a final 20 in order to complete the research and to be able to release the findings in the coming months. Those volunteering now will receive detailed feedback about their body composition, health, lifestyle and diet.

Local GP surgeries are supporting the project and sending out letters to suitable patients this week inviting them to take part.

Those who are interested in taking part should contact the researchers with rough estimates of their weight and height measurements.

Dr James Betts who is leading the study said: "It is a commonly held belief that eating breakfast is an important part of a healthy diet. This is based largely on scientific research showing that people who do not eat breakfast are more likely to be overweight and have an increased risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. However, it remains to be established whether there is a direct effect of breakfast on improved health and what the mechanisms for any effect may be.

"Interestingly, research looking at the changes in individuals' weight over time with breakfast consumption show that the relationship may be influenced by an individual’s initial weight, that is to say that not all groups may respond in the same way."

Volunteers will be invited to the laboratory at the University of Bath campus on five separate occasions, which can be scheduled flexibly over a 12-week period. The investigation initially involves two separate tests to compare how each individual responds to having breakfast on one day relative to skipping breakfast on another.

Thereafter, all volunteers will be randomly divided into two separate groups, with half asked to eat breakfast every day and the other half asked to skip breakfast every day. Follow-up tests a few weeks later will then reveal the response to regularly including or omitting breakfast from a usual diet.

Each volunteer will benefit from individual feedback relating to body composition, diet and physical activity patterns.

Dr Betts said: "The comprehensive feedback each participant will receive following the study will give a very detailed picture of diet and energy expenditure, highlighting areas for possible change for improvement of health."

There is no payment for volunteers but expenses are covered and each volunteer will benefit from feedback regarding their individual results. For more information and to discuss eligibility for  the study, please email Judith Richardson or call 01225 383566.

Bookmark with:

What is this?

We are one of the UK's leading universities with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. Our Mission is to deliver world class research and teaching, educating our graduates to become future leaders and innovators, and benefiting the wider population through our research, enterprise and influence. Our courses are innovative and interdisciplinary and we have an outstanding record of graduate employment.